SASW is focusing on how to ensure our support to members is relevant to them, whatever their identity or background. We aim to develop structures which confront all forms of discrimination and reflect our commitment to the core values of social work.
What have we done so far?
On the 21st of July, we launched our report, "Racism in Scottish Social Work: a 2021 snapshot." This provides evidence that:
- Racism exists within social work in Scotland, Racism is experienced in both employment and education settings, from colleagues, managers and people who use services
- The impact of racism on social workers from BAME backgrounds is significant
- When racism is reported it is rarely dealt with in a satisfactory way
- Racism experienced within social work is harmful, both to individuals and to the profession
In November last year we published our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Special Bulletin. Within this, we launched our survey ‘Racism, Prejudice and Discrimination in Social Work’. Developed in conjunction with Toyin Adenugba and Laura Joya, both part of the group Minority Ethnic Social Workers in Scotland, the survey was part of our response to the resurgence in activity around the Black Lives Matter movement, following the death of George Floyd in the United States. Aimed at social workers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, the response we received was overwhelming.
As part of our World Social World Week celebrations, we held a roundtable exploring how to challenge racism in social work, including in workplaces and education and to find out more about peoples lived experience. We will shortly publish a report based on the survey findings, and our roundtable. This will include calls to action, and link to our wider Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion strategy. We will update this hub to keep you informed about the launch.
We met recently with our group of social workers who are committed to challenging racism and helped facilitate the roundtable. This group is enthusiastic about taking this work forward and will be fully involved with our work in this area.
In honour of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and as part of the social workers rise against racism campaign, we wrote to Universities and Social Work Employers on the issue of anti-racist social work practice. In the letter we called for anti-racism to be a central and explicit feature in social work education and workplaces. We received responses from the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Council, and Angus Council.
We contacted the SSSC who demonstrated a willingness to collaborate with us in equality and diversity matters.
BASW UK Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Leads
We are delighted to be working closely with two of the newly appointed BASW UK EDI Leads. Shantel Thomas is leading on anti-racism in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Narinder Sidhu is leading on LGBTQI+ and Disability. Their expertise will help guide and shape our work around those areas here in Scotland.
BASW UK Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group
BASW’s EDI Advisory Group was established last year and is a group of members from across the four nations, who meet together regularly to advise BASW Council on progress with meeting EDI targets. The work we are doing here in Scotland is informed by the views of this group.
Minimum standards for diversity within BASW Council were set last year and have been exceeded this year. These include ensuring a minimum level of representation among Council members from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups, from those identifying as female, from members currently in direct social work practice, and from those aged 35 and under.
Useful Resources from around the UK
LGBTI Manifesto - a joint manifesto from LGBT Youth Scotland, Stonewall Scotland and Scottish Trans. Get in touch here to find out more about SASW's work on progressing the Asks, or to get involved yourself.
White voices on white privilege - PSW Online
How to promote an anti-racist culture in social work - Community Care.
Black Lives Matter: A position statement - BASW UK.
Anti-Racist Social Work in Scotland: A space for discussion
13th October 15:00-17:00
Respect and Recognition: The contributions of minoritised social workers
27th October 16:00-17:30
BASW - Becoming Allies in Social Work: Understanding LGBTQIA+ Inequalities - Key Concepts
1st December 14:00-16:30